Applegate questions - and more about meat


Kmlynne

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I have seen lots of recommendations on this forum for Applegate products.  However, in doing some research, I have found that only their "organic beef" is pasture raised (i.e. only grass fed).  Although chicken and pork is not caged, no abx/hormones etc, they are feed grain and soy - which are considered "natural" by applegate.

 

I also (having gone through the ingredient list of all the applegate products) have found that most of their foods have dextrose, organic cane sugar or carageenan in them.  (I only found about a dozen products that are w30 compliant - out of 86 products total).

 

What are your thoughts on "natural fed" chicken and pork versus "pastured".  

 

I have had the best luck at my butcher finding local, pastured beef and pork.  With the beef, I have a choice of 100% grass-fed, or grass-fed and "grain finished" (fed non-GMO grains for last couple of months to "fatten them up".  Does the grain finishing make that much difference?

 

I am at a loss to find completely pastured chicken although my farmers market has LOTS of completely pastured chicken eggs :)

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Chicken, pork, beef are all Whole30-compliant regardless of what the animals ate. That said, I prefer my animals to be raised on grass their whole lives.

 

Finding grass-fed meat in stores is challenging if not impossible. I get my beef from a local farmer, my pork through a friend who brings it from a farm in North Carolina, and I can get chicken from my local farmer. I don't buy his chicken regularly, however, because they are expensive. He is not making a profit when he sells them for $15.00 a bird, that is just what they cost when raised outside in a real barn yard. Unfortunately, the hawks don't pay anything when they take a chicken and there are weeks when he loses several. 

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That said, I prefer my animals to be raised on grass their whole lives.

 

Tom, I'm sure you are just generalizing here but sometimes people take what you say very literally, so I think I should clarify:

 

Ruminants (Beef, Bison, Lamb) would ideally be raised on grass alone, but pigs and chickens are omnivores. Pastured pigs and chickens will forage and eat a variety of things; chickens will pick in the grass and eat bugs and worms. pigs will dig up tubers and acorns add that to their diet of grass and bugs, while cows will stick to the grass and leave the bugs. This is a good thing. let animals eat what they want  :) .

 

Look for "Grass Fed" for beef, bison and lamb. Look for "Pastured" for pigs, chickens and eggs, and don't freak out if the pigs and chickens have supplemental feed. Sometimes this is really necessary depending on climate; it is good if that feed is soy free, but I think it is unrealistic to expect a farmer to get by without a little something extra for them in the winter.

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Tom, I'm sure you are just generalizing here but sometimes people take what you say very literally, so I think I should clarify:

 

Thank you!

 

I actually fed the chickens when I was on the farm Saturday, at least the ones who live in the mobile pens. They are moved every day to a fresh patch of grass. They eat the grass, the bugs, worms, and anything else they can get, but they also have grain and fresh water. They prefer fresh food, but eat the grain when they have picked over what is under them before they are moved to a fresh patch.

 

The free ranging chickens get grain too because they don't range far from the barn and have eaten most of the grass. They get weeds from the garden, broccoli and cauliflower leaves after they are picked, and old kale that is too tough for human consumption. They go for the broccoli leaves first! I was amazed the first time we dumped a load of weeds from the garden in front of the chickens and they tore into them.

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My chickens go bananas for beef.  They love beef fat, liver and any kind of leftovers we throw to them.  After I cook bacon, I let the fat cool down and harden.  I scrape it out of the pan and feed it to the chickens.  They love that too.

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